Sexual impotence is also referred to as erectile dysfunction and affects more than 10 million men in the country today. Impotence refers to the inability to produce and maintain an erection in order to perform sexually. Sexual impotence is a surprisingly common problem and most men have experienced this condition at least once in their life. While nearly eight percent of men between the ages of 20 to 39 have reported cases of erectile dysfunction, nearly sixty percent of men over 70 suffer from sexual impotence. Cases can range in severity and incidence depending on the underlying causes of the condition. Unfortunately, impotence is surrounded by social stigma and many men choose to suffer in silence rather than consult with a specialist or doctor to treat the situation.
Impotence can be classified into three different types:
- Primary Impotence: Implying chronic erectile dysfunction from the beginning of any type of sexual activity.
- Secondary Impotence: The most common form of sexual impotence, where incidents of impotence occur in between normal sexual activity.
- Impotence with Age: A gradual decline in the sexual performance and the ability to maintain an erection due to age.
Symptoms of Sexual Impotence
Sexual impotence is marked by the repeated inability to achieve or maintain an erection for sexual intercourse. Other impotence symptoms include loss of interest in sex, fatigue, feelings of guilt or anger, and depression. Relationships also tend to suffer due to impotence.
Causes of Sexual Impotence
Sexual impotence or erectile dysfunction is caused by a lack of blood supply to the penis. While this is the primary biological or physical cause for impotence there are several other conditions that can cause impotence. In many cases the presence of some other condition may also cause impotence because of its interference with blood circulation. Some common causes for sexual impotence include:
- Vascular Disease Vascular disease is a condition that affects the veins and arteries, causing a thickening of arterial walls. This causes the blood flow to get restricted and weakened affecting the extremities and also the genitalia. This in turn leads to difficulties in maintaining an erection or even achieving one.
- Diabetes Studies show that there is a definite link between diabetes and sexual impotence, though the exact causes are not clearly understood. Experts believe that diabetes affects the blood flow and causes nerve damage that can lead to impotence.
- Alcohol and Smoking Excessive drinking and smoking can lead to erectile dysfunction by hampering blood circulation. Alcohol also interferes with the balance of hormones and the production of the male hormone testosterone that may result in impotence.
- Diseases and Illnesses Diseases such as Multiple Sclerosis, Parkinsons and other conditions that affect the nervous system can make achieving and maintaining an erection difficult, by restricting and preventing the correct response signals sent from the brain to the body.
- Inactivity Lack of exercise and a sedentary lifestyle can affect the cardiovascular system and in turn affect sexual functioning.
- Psychological Stress, long work hours, depression, anxiety, guilt, and embarrassment can also cause sexual impotence. Apprehension about impotence can cause anxiety and fear of failure that may lead to a repeated inability to perform sexually.
Remedies for Sexual Impotence
The treatment for sexual impotence depends on its underlying cause. The first step towards a cure for any sexual disorder is to overcome and ignore the stigma that surrounds the condition and speak to a specialist, doctor, or even a therapist if required. A diagnosis is reached only after a number of tests are carried out to identify the underlying cause. The treatment of sexual impotence includes oral medications, penile injections, and mechanical aides such as implants and vacuum pumps. Products such as pumps work well when impotence is caused by vasculogenic factors. Prescription and non-prescription drugs are available to increase sexual libido, balance hormones and improve sexual potency. Many commercially available medications tend to have more of a psychological effect and experts believe that there is no real value in this type of placebo effect treatment. However, there are some drugs such as Viagra that have transformed the way sexual impotence is treated. While an expensive option, medications such as Viagra are very effective, but patients need to keep their health care providers informed of any other health conditions, because of the risk of side effects or interactions.
Hormone therapy for sexual impotence involves the application of skin patches or the administration of injections containing testosterone. Based on the belief that impotence is caused due to a decrease in the levels of testosterone in the body, these injections and patches improve libido and reduce instances of erectile dysfunction. Male hormone replacement therapy is used mainly in older men, but does come with its own set of complications and side effects such as the development of prostate cancer.
When sexual impotence is caused by vascular problems, surgery may be an option. Vascular surgery has a high success rate but it is an expensive option that is irreversible.
When no other medical alternatives seem to be working, penile implants may be considered. Penile implants are prosthetic devices that are surgically implanted into the penis. Penile implants come in two varieties passive implants that consist of silicon rods inserted into the penis and active implants, which involve the use of inflatable silicon pouches implanted into the penis. These pouches can be manipulated manually to achieve and maintain an erection.
Home remedies for sexual disorders such as impotence include the following:
- Regular massages help relieve nervous energy, relax the body and reduce anxiety. This can help considerably to lower the occurrence of erectile dysfunction during sexual intercourse.
- Home remedies for impotence also include cold hip baths where the pelvis and genitals are immersed in a cold bath for ten minutes every morning and evening. This helps invigorate and activate the nerves in the area and reduces impotence.
- A daily exercise routine that includes yoga has been proven to be highly beneficial in the treatment of sexual impotence. Certain yoga poses such as halasana, dhanurasana, and sarvangasana are especially effective.
- Other home remedies for erectile dysfunction include adding seeds, nuts, fresh fruit and vegetables and grains into your daily diet to improve overall physical and mental health as well as to improve blood circulation.
Diet for Sexual Impotence
Although your diet may have no direct effect on the development or occurrence of sexual impotence, in some situations the condition may be caused by other health conditions that are aggravated by unhealthy eating habits. The main focus should therefore be to eliminate any unhealthy foods from your diet like junk foods, oily and excessively fatty foods. An accurate diagnosis of the underlying causes of impotence will also better help with the formulation of an appropriate diet plan. There are certain foods that promote certain bodily functions and if the problem is caused by any disorder that can be controlled with diet changes you will need to modify your diet accordingly.
In addition to dietary changes based on nutritional advice and your doctors suggestions you can also try out some specific foods that are believed to help treat the condition. Do keep in mind that most of these claims are unresearched and they have little to no scientific credibility.
- Certain foods like honey and garlic are thought to be beneficial in the treatment of sex problems. Garlic has remarkable aphrodisiac properties that are said to be safe and natural. Garlic reduces sexual exhaustion and increases the libido. Two to three cloves of raw garlic chewed daily can help treat sexual impotence as well.
- White onions can strengthen the reproductive system and increase the libido, whereas carrots dipped in honey can improve stamina when consumed daily for a month.
- Experts believe that including asparagus in your diet can also treat sexual impotence. Boil the roots of asparagus in milk and drink this concoction twice daily. This also prevents premature ejaculation.
- Dates have long since been considered a strengthening food. Mix dried dates with nuts like almonds and pistachios in equal quantities and consume a handful daily to improve sexual stamina.
- In addition to oily and fatty foods try to cut down on your intake of processed foods that are high in sugar and white flour.
Suggestion for Sexual Impotence
Sexual impotence can cause problems with interpersonal relationships, as well as lower ones self image and self-confidence. Very often, sexual impotence gives rise to severe depression and mental trauma, whereas in others, psychological factors may be the cause of impotence. The main thing to do is address the problem at the earliest. If this is done, in many cases, there may not even be a need for any form of medical intervention. Just remember that sexual impotence is a lot more prevalent than most of us think it to be; if afflicted with the condition you dont have to live with it and suffer in silence. Couple counseling can also help greatly as emotional relationships that have a sexual component will suffer a severe strain when such sexual disorders develop. This calls for patience, maturity and understanding from both partners.